Posts tagged ‘vegetables’
Kale is one of those kitchen firsts where I’ve eaten the stuff a thousand times, but never actually cooked it for myself. You see, I kind of always thought that I didn’t like kale, or that it was ok but not worth my time or effort to actually cook at home. But in the name of getting back on the kitchen firsts wagon before the end of the year, it seemed high time to go and get a bunch of kale, and little did we know we’d be back to the market the next day to get some more.
You see, we got a bit distracted with our first bunch of kale, but were too excited about the prospect of this pasta to wait to make it. So another bunch came home with us, and I’m so glad that it did because this pasta was a kale revelation! I was a little skeptical about it, even up to the very moment that I tossed all the parts of the dish together, because tasting the parts separately (the spicy breadcrumbs, braised kale, pasta, and parmesan) it really didn’t seem like anything to write home about. But it is way more than the sum of its parts, and I feel confident saying that this dish would appeal to kale-lovers and kale-haters alike– the kale becomes mild and tender as it braises, the cheese gives a little rich nuttiness, the lemon gives a nice lift, and the spicy, garlicky breadcrumbs provide a nice aromatic crunch. All in all, a very satisfying pasta for a late autumn dinner, and one you can feel good about eating too!
This dish, an amazing marriage of roasted brussels sprouts, savory sauteed mushrooms, parmesan, and crispy shallots, was probably the most successful new dish we tried at our fake Thanksgiving party this year. And that’s saying something, considering how happy we were with the turkey and stuffing! It manages to be everything that a homey green bean casserole is (comforting, traditional, delicious), but elevated to a new level by fresh mushrooms, homemade shallot rings, and the roasted sprouts. I love green beans, but the sprouts have a more complex flavor and texture that works well here, and even sprout-haters tend to like them in this dish. It’s miles away from any gloop-laden thing you’ve had from a can, but still somehow very close to home.
Paneer (fresh Indian cheese) is an ingredient that I’ve been waiting to do as a kitchen first all year, and a chilly fall evening seemed like the perfect time to whip up some warming curry. I waded through recipe options just enough to notice that there are about a million things you can do with paneer (or rather, a million different recipes for two or three things to do with paneer), and we settled on a nice looking mattar paneer recipe (paneer and pea curry) that sounded perfect for a blustery day. We adapted things along the way just a bit and were delighted to find that this dish can be really easy! Perfect for a weeknight, and a great way to incorporate a satisfying vegetarian recipe into your repertoire.
As the weather cools down, we all find ourselves drawn to more warming foods. Lately we’ve been making things like chiles rellenos casserole and burritos, as well as tossing strips of roasted peps into stews and other warming Mexican dishes, and consequently I’ve found myself roasting up anaheims and poblanos more often than usual! Roasty pepper strips are actually pretty versatile (try topping a burger or sandwich with them!), so I thought I’d share a little basics post to document the ropes. If you have any favorite recipes using roasted chiles, let me know in the comments, and I hope to share our recipe for baked chiles rellenos soon!
Before anyone says anything, let me just say that I do indeed get that it is autumn now. It’s October no less, and posting a recipe that relies heavily on the sweetest, freshest, juiciest tomatoes you can find might seem a tad bizarre, or even, uh, rather embarrassingly late, especially when it is following a recipe using butternut squash. And perhaps it is almost too late, but I have also noticed that many parts of the country have been enjoying a bit of an extended summer, with warm temperatures and lots of sun, and at least around these parts there are still quite a few late-late-season tomatoes to be found at markets and in gardens. I meant to make a fresh tomato sauce for pasta all summer long, and unfortunately it took the last of the summer tomatoes hanging around in October to make me remember what I almost skipped. Pasta with a fresh tomato sauce is incredibly delicious, easy, and refreshing in a way that pasta almost never is, and I’m so glad we finally made this that I’m going to share even though it is admittedly almost too late! If there are any last tomatoes left in your neck in the woods that are worth eating, go get them, and make yourself this dish.
We’ve been trying a variety of new pasta combinations lately, and this one, tossed with roasted butternut squash, wilted spinach, crumbled bacon and parmesan, really won me over. I’ve never cooked with butternut squash before, partly because they are sort of big and intimidating-looking (I didn’t realize we could use up a whole one in one dish), but also because Stephen professes to hate them, along with other orange things like sweet potatoes, yams, and all other winter squashes. It hasn’t ever bothered me that I couldn’t cook these things for Stephen, but when I saw a recipe for pasta with butternut squash that also featured bacon, parmesan, and spinach, I thought that maybe, just maybe, I could convert him to embrace the squash.
Fennel is not something that I grew up with, and my natural reaction to it (and all the other foods in its anisey-scented family, for that matter) is love-hate. When I smell fennel cooking, I find it sort of intoxicating, like I just can’t stop smelling it, but I’m not sure if I want to scarf it up or throw it out. For this reason, and since I don’t have a lot of recipes in my repertoire that feature fennel, I have never cooked with fennel myself (although I have purchased it and then wasted it with the intention of doing a kitchen first like three times). But this time, I finally found a recipe that excited me enough to follow through. This pasta was fragrant and spicy without being too much, and it was a welcome change from all those everyday-tasting tomato based pastas I get so tired of. The fennel is braised in a flavorful broth with lemon, red pepper flakes and bacon until it’s tender and mellow, then tossed with pasta and parmesan. It was so good that I’m 100% positive I will never waste a fennel bulb again! In fact, I may go get another one tomorrow.